The Hunger Games’ Patina Miller

We’ve loved Patina Miller since we saw her as The Leading Player in the reprise of Pippin, a role she won a Tony Award for. Her performance was the first thing since Center Stage that tempted us to drop everything, and follow our true calling: becoming professional dancers. It was a destiny we gave up in order to create potatohead content every day (that and the destiny of being A Capella stars a la Pitch Perfect), but luckily Miller kept on the path of being a triple-threat.

She now stars in the show Madam Secretary (which premiered last night) and will also reprise her role as Commander Paylor in the upcoming Hunger Games movie. There’s not much this actress doesn’t do, so we got her take on all things fitness and food…

From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day?

I wake up and drink a protein shake before I workout, then have a nice breakfast of scrambled eggs and mixed berries after my workout. Snacks would be a few dates and two hard-boiled eggs or an apple with almond butter. Lunch would consist of some type of fish and a bit of rice and veggies. Dinner would be fish again with quinoa and mixed vegetables or sweet potato,  quinoa and veggies.

How do you practice beauty from the inside out?

I try to work out on a daily basis, eat clean and drink tons of water! Some days are – of course – better than others, but for the most part I just try to keep myself feeling good.

What are some of your favorite workouts? 

There isn’t really a workout that I don’t love. I’m pretty active at all times and I love a good challenge so I’m down for pretty much anything fitness related. I don’t necessarily love barre-type classes and I haven’t gotten on the cycling wagon yet…but you never know!

What are your morning and nightly beauty routines?

My esthetician has turned me on to some pretty fantastic products that I use religiously these days.

In the morning I always “rinse” the previous nights products off first. Then I apply Luzern cleanser. After that, I apply a serum from Luzerne (my facialist Mamie McDonald turned me on to this incredible company! All of their products are free of chemicals and parabens and are all so fantastic on the skin). Depending on if I have spots that I need to get rid of, I apply a depigmentation serum from Knutek, MD. Next I apply my moisturizer, followed by sunscreen. My favorite is currently EltaMD Spf 46.

‪My nightly routine is usually the exact same, minus the sunscreen. I also try and apply a mask every three days. I’m loving the BioRepublic Bamboo fiber masks lately! They have different kinds, my favorite being the green tea mask…they make my skin feel so amazing and so hydrated.

Foods you have before and after workouts…

I always try to have at least two hard-boiled eggs or maybe some oatmeal before a workout. After my workout, if it’s a weight training session, I immediately have a protein recovery shake that usually will hold me over until my next meal or snack. I love Kind bars, acai bowls, nut mixes, and hard-boiled eggs for my pre or post workout snack.

Foods and drinks you love, and those you avoid…

I’m obsessed with smoothie bowls! I do love pizza but try to keep it as a special treat every once in a while. I’m a kale whore. My favorite dinner meal would have to be kale salad with salmon. I have it at least four nights out of the week. Avocados, mixed berries, nutmilks, and dates are life savers (in moderation). I love Harmless Harvest Coconut Water! I have it with almost every meal. I drink a lot of water and have a green juice every day. I try to avoid candy and other processed foods you can find in most stores. My sweet tooth is severe, so I’m always trying to seek out healthier versions of things that I like. I don’t like a lot of greasy fried food. I basically just stay away from things that have a ton of ingredients that are hard to pronounce. Simplicity is key for me.

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How do you always start your day?

I always try to make sure that the first liquid I consume is water before anything else. I will usually start with water with lemon, then have my morning cup of coffee with almond milk.

Workout trends you’re not liking…

I’m a little suspect of CrossFit, but then again I’ve never tried it. It all looks so dangerous!

Are there any quick ab workouts one can do in their home?  

30-second planks, two times

20 sit-ups, two times

20 straight leg lifts, two times

40 bicycle crunches, two times

Arm workouts?

12 pushups (knees are fine), three times

12 tricep dips, three times (use chair or bench)

20 arm circles (forward), three times

20 arm circles (backward), three times

12 commandos on each side, three times

The best advice you’ve ever received…

Live every moment of your life to the fullest.

Favorite song you’ve ever gotten to sing onstage and why…

Singing Magic to Do from the 2013 revival of Pippin onstage at the Tony awards with my cast mates was pretty epic!

What are your favorite cities for food? What restaurants do you go to in each?  

I love Paris, NYC, and Florence. My absolute favorite spot would be La Bandita in Tuscany, Italy. It’s an idyllic Tuscan country house with an amazing private chef who prepares fantastic Italian meals straight from the garden. In New York City, ABC Kitchen. In Denver, Colorado, Snooze.

In the same vein as ‘what is the new black’ in fashion, what’s the new potato right now in terms of health?

I feel like coconut oil and other “good fats ” are making a comeback!

*Patina Miller, photographed at Marta in New York, NY by Danielle Kosann. Patina wears a Jason Wu dress

Read our interviews with Broadway stars Kelli O’Hara and Laura Benanti. Looking for more workout tips? Check out how to work out like a model